Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization -- Department for Nonlinear Dynamics and Network Dynamics Group
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BCCN/BFNT Minisymposium

Tuesday, 18.10.2011 17 c.t.

When a group of neurons oscillates slower than its members: a study of hippocampal place cells

by Dr. Caroline Geisler
from Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, Tübingen

Contact person: Annette Witt


Ludwig Prandtl Hörsaal, Am Faßberg 11 AI-Gebäude


Episodic memory critically depends on the sequential representation of events. To understand the temporal dynamics of hippocampal cell assemblies, we analyzed electrophysiological data recorded in behaving rats. When rats explore their environment, principle cells in the hippocampus ("place cells") form sequences of cell assemblies. The coordinated firing of these place cells is organized by the prominent “theta” oscillation (6-10Hz), such that place cells discharge at progressively earlier theta phases as the rat crosses the respective place field (“phase precession”). Phase precession is equivalent to the notion that place cells oscillate faster than the theta rhythm recorded in the extracellular field. I will present experimental and theoretical results elucidating the relationship between single cell oscillators and their population mean field activity.

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